Ortisei/St.Ulrich: Top Skiers Pick Low Starting Bibs

The traditional celebration in Ortisei/St.Ulrich delivered much excitement to the crowd less than 24 hours ahead of tomorrow's Donwhill race. In addition to the Super-G award ceremony, tomorrow's bib numbers were assigned.

One of the highlights on the week’s event schedule during the races in Val Gardena/Gröden is the assignment of bib numbers and the award ceremony for the Super-G preceding the day of the Downhill race. This year, it was Ortisei/St.Ulrich’s turn to host this magic event where the public can experience its idols up-close and personal. Speaker Silvia Fontanive kicked off the event at 5:45 pm from the stage set up in the St.Antonius square in the village center with a light show and sound effects that perfectly blended with the spirit of Christmas.

Following the beautiful images of the Super-G and training runs taking place on the Saslong in the last few days, the jubilant audience cheered on the day’s winners: “Ladies and Gentlemen: Kjetil Jansrud, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Eric Guay!” These names initiated repeated applause throughout the award ceremony of the Super-G. Matthias Mayer (AUT), Andreas Sander (GER) and Dustin Cook (CAN) were also awarded for their 4th to 6th places in the final ranking.

In addition, for the second time in a row it was Niels Hinterman (born in 1995) who was honored with the traditional Gianni Marzola award that has been given for the last 15 years and which is intended for the youngest competitor in the Downhill race. Of note is that multiple winner on the Saslong Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal was himself recipient of this award many years ago. The ceremony was hosted by Lukas Schweiger and Zoran who continued the festivities by showing the most memorable images of last year’s Downhill event followed by calling on stage one by one the top ten racers in the world rankings. Based on the new regulations, the athletes were then given the opportunity to pick an odd number between 1 and 19 as their starting bib for tomorrow.

Nib number 1 was picked by Swiss Carlo Janka and other favorites for tomorrow’s race also picked lower numbers: 7 for today’s Super-G winner Kjetil Jansrud (NOR), 5 for Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), 9 for Peter Fill (ITA) and 15 for Steven Nyman (USA).

The complete start list can be found here.

The event concluded with dedicated fan time by the Italian ski team providing the audience with opportunities for autographs and photo ops.